New Audio: Jonathan Personne Shares Groovy New Single

Jonathan Robert is a Montreal-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, animator and visual artist, who is best known for being a co-founder and co-lead vocalist of the internationally acclaimed JOVM mainstay act Corridor.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you may recall that Robert released his solo debut as Jonathan PersonneHistoire Naturelle, an album that sonically drew from desert dream pop, Western Spaghetti rock and jangle pop. Thematically, the album focused on the potential end of the world. (With the album’s timing, it may have hit the nail on the head a bit too hard, eh?)

Robert’s Jonathan Personne sophomore album, 2020’s Guillaume Chiasson-product Disparitions was primarily written while the Montreal-based artist was touring with Corridor, and came about in a quick and fluid fashion. While seeing him continuing upon the hook-driven yet intimate and sensitive songwriting that has won him acclaim,  Disparitions was largely inspired by a moment when music became a source of profound disgust for him. “I spent a lot of time touring away from home. Towards the end I felt like I was reluctantly going to do something that I had longed wished for,” Robert explained in press notes. 

Earlier this year, Robert signed with Montreal-based label Bonsound, who will be releasing his third Jonathan Personne album, the Emmanuel Éthier-produced Jonathan Personne on August 26, 2022. Written alone on an acoustic guitar in a cottage, the album took an unexpected turn, when the Montreal-based artist went to Quebec City-based Le Pantoum with his friends and frequent collaborators Samuel Gougoux (drums), Julian Perreault (guitar), Mathieu Cloutier (bass) and the aforementioned Éthier (violin, synths, mellotron, vocals and production). Featuring arrangements centered around electric guitar, 12-string acoustic guitar, Rhodes, timpani, mellotron, synths, violin and even samples, the eight-song album continues Robert’s reputation for crafting material inspired by 60s pop and Spaghetti Westerns but with samples from obscure TV shows and movies, blistering rock grooves and extravagant guitar licks, the album features a more polished production than previous releases.

Featuring a Jonathan Robert illustration in which two children discover the remains of a dead body as its album cover art, the album thematically is rooted in duality: Continuing his reputation for breezy guitar pop, the album is also brutal, sinister yet candid. The end result is an album that evokes a mysterious world where ghosts, the supernatural, fate and broken characters with broken lives intertwine.

Last month, Bonsound and Robert released the album’s first single, “Un homme sans visage” a deceptively breezy song featuring an arrangement of gorgeous Mellotron-driven melody, jangling guitar, simple yet propulsive rhythms, bursts of lap steep, big hooky choruses and Robert’s plaintive falsetto. While continuing to be lovingly inspired by the sounds of the late 60s, But the song is a bittersweet, sort of modern fable that tells a story about a man, whose face is badly burned in a fire.

Jonathan Personne‘s second and latest single, “Rock & roll sur ton chemin,” is a deceptive straightforward rocker centered around a loose and breezy surf rock-like riff and a churning groove paired with dreamily delivered falsetto harmonies and Robert’s penchant for big, catchy hooks. Along with that, the song features subtle bit of bongo, Mellotron and whistles, which add to the song’s breezy vibes. But much like its predecessor, the song is actually bittersweet: The song is a tribute to dying art forms and those who still practice them. “Devoting oneself to a genre destined to failure, there’s something pathetic about it, but also something very beautiful,” Robert says.